Director Piers Jessop’s 'Middle Ages - A Wanderer's Guide To Life and Letters,' is full of humor (some of it, wonderfully, on the dark side), and is a tour-de-force for the brilliant acting of Nicholas Pennell as ‘Robert,’ a fun-loving, arty, bawdy, and roguish guide to the culture, politics, and mores of the year 1350. Athletic and erudite, Pennell stole kisses, ran from pursuers, and leapt obstacles as he engaged the viewer by proving that old times may not have been all that different from newer ones, seemingly encouraging individuality while perversely at the same time striving to crush it. Pennell, who for the following twenty years would be one of the Stratford Theatre of Canada’s leading actors, was born in Devon, England in 1939, and died in Ontario in 1995.
Nicholas Pennell as Robert, Jessie Evans as The Wife of Bath
An enjoyable and educational film with superb acting by all the players, particularly Mr. Pennell (who died at the very premature age of 56 -- not far beyond the stunted age people regularly died at in the Middle Ages!). The high points for me are the Wife of Bath telling her tale of 5 husbands and Everyman's dialog with Death. I truly enjoyed every bit tho. If only history were always presented with such verve!